How to “Cook” a Healthy Meal on Little Time

We all wish we had a bit more time, right? This guest post by Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is here to help!
Enjoy, Robyn

Are you too busy to bring lunch or cook meals? Do you ever find yourself eating whatever is available … because you’re starving!?

We are all familiar (some of us too familiar) with that awful hunger pain that results from going too long without food. But, perhaps even more familiar with the unfriendly aftermath—overeating at the next meal. Below, you’ll find a simple strategy to help you keep nutritious meals on-hand—even during your busy weeks. You’ll find that when you’re prepared with the right foods at the right times, you’ll also keep your hunger in-check as well as your waistline.

Make Time!
First, recognize that you will need to make time for your health and you! Schedule in time, if need be, to assemble your homemade meals—whether lunch or dinner. Simply set aside an hour, one or two times per week, to cook or rather, prep ahead. Think of it as an investment in your health.

The How-Tos of Creating Quick Healthy Meals:

1. Line the bottom of reusable plastic or glass containers with salad greens.
2. Top the greens with your favorite protein – canned tuna, chicken from the night before, leftover sliced steak or baked tofu. Keep it to about 4-5 ounces of lean protein (3 ounces = the size of a deck of cards). The protein will help you stay satiated and fuel lean muscle mass.
3. Then add a sprinkle (2-4 tablespoons) of flavor, such as low-fat cheese, guacamole, or slivered almonds.
4. Combine with colorful veggies, such as grape tomatoes, bell peppers, or broccoli. The more veggies, the better!
5. Add a slice of whole-grain bread, or ½ cup brown rice or quinoa to the meal. The complex, high-fiber carbohydrate will help curb your hunger hormone, ghrelin, and allow you to feel more satisfied, as well as help release the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin.
6. Pour your favorite salad dressing (preferably olive-oil based) in a smaller container to pour over the salad when you are ready to eat. Just remember, a tablespoon of oil is 120 calories. Portions still matter.
Voila! Meals ready to go!

An Extra Bonus: for Healthy Snacking on the Run, Try:

• 6 ounces of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with ¾ cup berries
• A piece of fruit and small handful of nuts (think 15 almonds or walnuts)
• A hardboiled egg and piece of fruit
• A small whole-wheat pita, stuffed with low-fat ricotta, apple slices and cinnamon
• ½ cup shelled edamame.
• ½- ¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese with ½ cup pineapple wedges
• A brown rice cake, topped with 1 tablespoon of natural nut butter and strawberry, apple, or banana slices

Bottom line: Remember, your health is important! Eating healthy (especially on the run) will keep your immune system strong and your energy high—no matter how much you have to tackle! It’ll also help keep you from needing to up pant sizes! Start planning and preparing ahead. 80% of all success is planning and proper nutrition.


Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a San Francisco-based registered dietitian specializing in nutrition, health communications, and social media. She develops news segments for television stations, writes articles for various health and wellness sites, speaks at conferences, frequently guests for wellness groups in the online social media realm, counsels, and serves as a nutrition and social media consultant. Passionate about empowering people to reach and maintain a state of optimal wellness, Corinne’s messages reach thousands of people every day. Corinne strives to help people cultivate the best, healthiest, and happiest “you” there is. To learn more about Corinne, visit Corinne Dobbas

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Corinne Dobbas, Fabulous Food Finds, Guest Posts, healthy eating, healthy snacks, Salads, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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